Coming off a nice home weekend with wins over Western Kentucky and Marshall, Louisiana Tech will take their show to Texas for two big Conference USA road games. Tech currently sits at 16-8 overall with an 8-3 record in conference play — good for second place overall in CUSA — but continues to trail first place Middle Tennessee State by two games. This weekend will largely determine whether Tech can legitimately challenge for the CUSA regular season title down the stretch, and it surely won’t be done without some help.
Tech defeated UTEP 64-44 inside the Thomas Assembly Center just over a month ago, but UTEP comes into the matchup as winners of six out of seven, including victories over perennial powers UAB and MTSU last week. UTEP Head Coach and Tech alum Tim Floyd has his team trending in the right direction after stumbling to a rough start. The Miners continue to be lead by two veteran guards in Omega Harris and Dominic Artis, currently averaging 17 and 15 points per game, respectively. In a game where the boys from El Paso will look to control the pace, it will be key for the Bulldogs to execute offensively in the half court when they take the floor Thursday night at 8PM CT inside the Don Haskins Center.
Saturday afternoon, Tech will travel to San Antonio to try to avenge an early season home loss against UTSA. Last month, the Roadrunners came into the then-impenetrable Thomas Assembly Center and snuck a one point win from the Bulldogs. UTSA continues to be lead by Jeff Beverly, who averages 16.5 a night. Beverly scored 27 in the win over The Dunkin’ Dogs on January 7th. The Roadrunners are 9-1 at home on the year, with their only loss coming to MTSU. With that in mind, this will most definitely be a tough test that Coach Konkol’s team cannot overlook.
The ‘Dogs continue to be lead by Erik McCree and Jacobi Boykins, who are playing their best basketball of the year at just the right time. McCree is coming off a 30-point outing against Marshall, a game in which he singlehandedly kept Tech alive, and Boykins played arguably his best floor game of the year in the win over Marshall on Saturday night. With just seven games to go before the conference tourney begins, Tech will look to continue their winning ways and get themselves into a great position to make a run at their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1991.